Music

TAK Ensemble / Distractfold at International Anthony Burgess Foundation

External image of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation
© International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Join the International Anthony Burgess Foundation for Tak ensemble’s Manchester debut with one of our most-admired ensembles in the world, Distractfold.

Works by:
Golnaz Shariatzadeh, Eric Wubblels, Tyshawn Sorey, Erin Gee, Ashkan Behzadi, Zeynep Toraman, and Hanna Hartman

About Distractfold

UK-based ensemble, Distractfold, is a group of performers, composers and curators all acting out of shared love, passion and interest in the music and culture of our times. Coming from different continents, and backgrounds and having received a diverse education, together they create a nexus of ideas and influences which all contribute towards the ensemble’s unique voice and identity. They perform acoustic, mixed and electroacoustic music of their peers, alongside music of the more established composers with whom they have formed close collaborations and friendships.

In 2014 Distractfold became the first ever UK ensemble to be awarded the Kranichstein Prize for Interpretation at the 47th International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt. In 2016 they returned to Darmstadt presenting two programmes of music at the Centralstation and curated a CD featuring remixes and reworking based on the festival’s 70-year archives.

In the 2016-17 concert season, they focused on curating and producing the 2017 Cut and Splice Festival, which took place in Manchester for the first time since the festival’s inception.

Distractfold has been able to invite numerous composers to join them in Manchester for performances at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation – such as Steven Kazuo Takasugi, Hanna Hartman, Weston Olencki, Marek Poliks, Sabrina Schroeder and Lori Freedman to name a few – and have given UK and world premieres of works from composers such as Pierluigi Billone, Santiago Díez-Fischer, Michelle Lou and Andrew Greenwald. Distractfold has also hosted guest performances from artists such as the Mivos Quartet, the Noise Upstairs, Wet Ink Ensemble and Lê Quan Ninh.

Alongside their work in Manchester, Distractfold performs regularly in festivals and concert series at home and abroad. Last season saw appearances at Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemäßer Musik in Austria where we presented two concerts including the world premiere of an evening-length piece by Sam Salem commissioned by the festival; Musica In Prossimità in Pinerolo, Italy; Global Adapter in Berlin and the New Music Manchester Festival in Manchester, UK.

Passionate about developing new ideas and creative potential among young composers, Distractfold has participated in reading sessions and workshops nationally and abroad. Some of these collaborative projects include workshops at Huddersfield University, Brunel University, Royal Northern College of Music and Ithaca College. In 2016 Distractfold was invited as one of the resident ensembles for the Harvard Group for New Music where they subsequently returned in 2018. In 2017 they were an ensemble in residence at Stanford University, CA. In Feb 2021 they will be in ‘virtual’ residence live from Manchester with composition students from Columbia University, NY.

Distractfold is currently the ensemble in association at Brunel University, and ensemble in residence for an interdisciplinary course at the Architectural Association in London.

About TAK

Regarded as “one of the most prominent ensembles in the United States practising truly experimental music” (I Care If You Listen), TAK delivers energetic performances “that combine crystalline clarity with the disorienting turbulence of a sonic vortex” (The WIRE), and “impresses with the organicity of their sound, their dynamism and virtuosity” (New Sounds, WQXR).

Founded on the principles of curiosity, change, and caring communication, TAK is dedicated to the commissioning of new works and direct collaboration with composers and other artists and they have premiered hundreds of works to date. TAK is Laura Cocks, flute; Madison Greenstone, clarinet; Charlotte Mundy, voice; Marina Kifferstein, violin; Ellery Trafford, percussion.

2022-2023 marks TAK’s 10th anniversary season, celebrating a decade of cultivating creative programming at the highest level. Upcoming projects include a new commission from Tyshawn Sorey to be premiered at Lincoln Center in fall 2022, commissions from Michelle Lou and DM R with Joy Guidry to be premiered at TAK’s 10th anniversary celebration in May 2023, and new works from Eric Wubbels, Seth Cluett, Natacha Diels, Bryan Jacobs, Elaine Mitchener, Ann Cleare, Weston Olencki, and Jessie Cox. This season will also see the release of TAK’s first collaboratively composed work on dinzu artefacts.

The quintet has released seven albums to critical acclaim; recent records have been described as “sublime art… a masterpiece,” (AnEarful), and “one of the most distinct and eclectic releases of the year” (I Care If You Listen). Their recorded output fosters a “deep sense of connection and communication” (Bandcamp Daily), and features collaborations with Mario Diaz de Leon, Taylor Brook, Erin Gee, Brandon López, Ann Cleare, Tyshawn Sorey, Natacha Diels, Scott L. Miller, David Bird, and Ashkan Behzadi. Their most recent release, Love, Crystal and Stone brought together composer Ashkan Behzadi, scholar Saharnaz Samaienejad, painter Mehrdad Jafari, and design-house Sonnenzimmer to fuse poetry, visual art, original essays, and music into an experience-based hybrid publication. The ensemble’s 2019 album Oor launched their in-house media label, TAK editions, which aims to support recorded musical endeavours from across the experimental music communities, highlighting direct conversations with artists through the TAK editions Podcast. Recent TAK editions releases have included those of Ensemble Interactivo de La Habana, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Nina Dante + Bethany Younge, and several of TAK’s own recordings.

Deeply committed to educational collaborations, TAK has conducted residencies at institutions such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Oberlin Conservatory, Cornell University, Wesleyan University, New York University, The Delian Academy for New Music, and many others. The ensemble has also collaborated with the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program and Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program. The 2022-23 season, they were the Long-term Visiting Ensemble In Residency and the University of Pennsylvania.

About the program

TAK:
Mouthpiece 28 — Erin Gee
the moon sank. the wet grass — Golnaz Shariatzadeh
For Jaimie Branch — Tyshawn Sorey
Ballad of the Water of the Sea — Ashkan Behzadi

Distractfold:
Shallow Water — Zeynep Toraman
The Cloud Factory — Hanna Hartman
and a new work by Andrew Greenwald

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